Gravesend RNLI rescues a dog from River Thames near Tilbury

On Friday 31 May At 6:42pm, London Coastguard tasked Gravesend RNLI to a dog in trouble after falling 14ft into the Thames on the north shore near Tilbury Fort.

Two of Gravesend RNLI’s volunteer crew take the rescued dog to be reunited with its owner
Credit: Chris Turner

RNLI Thames Commander Andy Colley said, ‘We had already had a busy day, what with a tasking at 8:21am to Erith and then a day of exercise, we were just getting ready for shift handover and the direct line from London Coastguard rang.’

Gravesend RNLI’s Atlantic 85 made the short distance across the Thames to Tilbury and arrived on scene within 60 seconds, when they immediately spotted the dog’s owner leaning over the Thames Path wall. With 10 minutes left of a rising tide, the volunteer crew successfully located the dog in water desperately clawing at the wall, the lifeboat’s crew eventually safely got the dog on board.

Tilbury Port Line Hander Chris Turner said, ‘I’d just finished with the departure of a vessel and when returning to my vehicle I noticed the lifeboat with the flashing blue lights against the shore, next minute it was coming towards me, I didn’t expect them to moor up at Tilbury Terminal with a dog on board!’.

RNLI volunteer Aaron Reynolds said, ‘It’s always a great feeling to witness the reuniting of a dog with its owner, especially after jumping a 14ft wall into a wet landing in the Thames!’

The RNLI volunteers returned to station at 7:08pm before being made ready for service with the night shift crew at 7:30pm.

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